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Free money from VC funded dunderheads

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Dang, I feel like it's 1998 all over again. That was the heady time when internet startups were getting tons of VC cash and were immediately handing it off to consumers in an attempt to "leverage brand loyalty" or "manage synergy" or some other marketspeak that reduces to "bribe people into liking us".

Those were heady days. I got so much free dog food from pets.com that my dog ate for a year for about five bucks!

This time, it's $20 free from an ebay phone-bidding service, and it works. I signed up Monday night, and I got $20 paypalled to me yesterday afternoon.

The service is free, but the $20 doesn't come automatically just for signing up. The catch is that you actually have to win an auction over the phone to collect.

So here's how to do it.

1. Go to http://www.unwiredbuyer.com.

2. Sign up. You need to have an ebay account, obviously.

3. Find something cheap on ebay. It can't have a "buy it now" price. It has to be something with competitive bidding. I found some Sprite coupons for $1.54 with shipping. Add it to your watch list.

Hint: Be sure to check shipping prices before you bid. Some folks have a come-on with dirt-cheap prices, but then make their money back with a $20 shipping fee. Coupons and ebooks are often pretty cheap, so check those out first.

4. Three minutes before the auction ends, their computer will call you, will give you the price, and ask if you want to bid. Bid on the item and win it. Don't fret if the item goes up a couple of bucks, because as long as your total cost is under $20, you're gonna make a profit.

5. You'll now get an email from unwiredbuyer congratulating you for your win and telling you to sit tight for a day or two for your $20 to arrive via paypal. I got mine the next day.

But I can make the deal even better! They have a referral program going on that gives ME five bucks if I turn you on to the service, and I'll split that with you. So that's $22.50 free from VC-funded dunderheads!

What you need to do is email me at john@thecodezone.com with "I want some free VC dunderhead money" in the title. I'll send you an invite email. Once you've done the rest of the steps (and I get my $5 referral cash), I'll paypal you $2.50.

Don't worry about subscription charges. Their service is completely free, and they don't require any account numbers or anything. It's just one of 1998 internet-startup business models. They went something like this. . .

1. Get loads of VC funding.
2. Hand off that cash to end-users so we get zillions of signups.
4. Big big profits!
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What happens if you put your own item up for auction and bid on it? That way you make a substantial amount of profit.

One thing that seems to really irritate me right now is "Web 2.0", also known as "making the web inaccessible for javascript-disabling users". It's got loads of buzz, but its only marketable product is Digg, which is a screaming self-masturbatory pit of idiocy right out of Dante's Inferno.

I suspect that we'll eventually have to scuttle the web and go back to BBSes.

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Unfortunately, you can't bid on your own item.

Of course, I could always put up a 24-hour auction for "a friendly email from me" for a buck, although the ebook emails are about that cheap anyway.

Lemme know if you wanna see that, and I'll slap one up there.

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